ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Social Discontent in Brazil

The waves of protest in Brazil's cities and towns were set off by the seemingly innocuous issue of increased bus fares, which then opened the gates to a flood of demands ranging from better accountability and less corruption to improved public services. A diffuse movement with no clear leadership, it has to be seen if people's anger will be turned into meaningful change.

The waves of protest in Brazil’s cities and towns were set off by the seemingly innocuous issue of increased bus fares, which then opened the gates to a flood of demands ranging from better accountability and less corruption to improved public services. A diffuse movement with no clear leadership, it has to be seen if people’s anger will be turned into meaningful change.

Social protests such as those seen in June 2013 have not occurred in Brazil for more than 20 years. Yet, the conditions were ripe for an explosion of demonstrations. This is a period in which the cost of living and inflation have been rising. Low growth and inflation threaten to thwart the new middle class, which does not want to return to poverty. Political moves are also afoot, aimed at the 2014 elections at the centre and in the states. The opening of the FIFAConfederations Cup in Brazil on 15 June, with football teams from various countries, gave global visibility to the protests. Opinion polls now show the popularity of the country’s president is low, and she was booed at the opening ceremony of the Confederations Cup at the stadium in Brasilia.

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